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Hello everybody. My name is Andy. I have been a long time Japanese military firearms collector of all types of Japanese Firearms. Mainly World War II machine guns. I always wanted to samurai sword but never got around to picking one up to add into the collection. Well I finally bought a papered sword three months ago, Supposedly from 1506. And I have since bought two more. One which I will post the Tang for translation on the site which was advertised as from 1375. And a third which I just purchased tonight. The last sword definitely needs polishing. From  what I can tell I do not see any flaws or nicks to the blade. The one from 1375 was polished and I do not have it yet but I believe it could used to be re-polished. I'll know more in a have it my hands. Whether I like it as is or not?

So my question to all you guys out here is who is a real good Japanese sword polisher? What would I need to do in order to send a blade to Japan for polishing? How long would it take for a Japanese polisher turnaround time?

If sending the blade to Japan is a hassle? What polishers do you recommend here in the US? I am open to hearing your thoughts on who may be the right man for the job or who may not?

any and all input is appreciated.

One last thing. As I tell  newbies when collecting firearms the first thousand dollars you should spend  is on reference material. I know I did not do that here with these swords . So what books do you recommend? I was told of a book I forget the name a few years ago and is supposedly out of print in costs around $500

thank you again



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Hi Andy,

I think you need to slow down; take some time with study before you go throwing thousands of dollars at swords and polishes.  There will always be swords to buy and there will always be qualified polishers (both in Japan and in the US).  The more you know before you spend the money the happier you'll be with the results.  Otherwise you run a large risk of making mistakes you'll regret.

There are lots of book recommendations on NMB; just use the search option.


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Hi Andrew,

Books.  Start with either (but not both) The Samurai Sword by Yumoto or The Japanese Sword by Sato.  Next step up on scholarship would include The Connoisseur's Book of Japanese Swords by Nagayama and Facts and Fundamentals of Japanese Swords by Nakahara.  If you want a collection of oshigata (rubbings of authentic signatures), Fujishiro's 2 volumes of Nihon Toko Jiten gives you all the important and most of the less important but still worthy of attention smiths and won't set you back nearly as much as the larger Taikans.  If you get serious about study, the 59 volumes of Token Bijutsu English edition by the NBTHK are, in my opinion, the best information in English on the subject.  If you have an interest in Japanese military swords, Dawson's Swords of Imperial Japan: 1868 - 1945, Cyclopedia Edition is the best choice.

Beyond those there are so many fine books, I wouldn't know where to stop.  For a better idea what these books are like, all are listed, with descriptions and pictures on my website: japaneseswordbooksandtsuba.com.

Cheers,  Grey

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